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Why Marvel's Eternals Made One Of Its Biggest Stars Seek Therapy

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In the lead-up to “Eternals,” the film was touted as a turning point for the MCU, with many even going so far as to assume it would be the franchise’s first prestige picture. It was a narrative that made sense – Chloé Zhao had just won the Best Director and Best Picture statues for her 2020 indie darling “Nomadland.” But the expectations surrounding the film eclipsed the actual final product, and Kumail Nanjiani thinks a lot of that has to do with Marvel’s approach with “Eternals.” 

“It was really, really hard because Marvel thought that movie was going to be really, really well reviewed, so they lifted the embargo early and put it in some fancy movie festivals and they sent us on a big global tour to promote the movie right as the embargo lifted,” Nanjiani told Michael Rosenbaum. Taking a look at the reviews, “Eternals” wasn’t necessarily a bad picture — it just meandered and failed to capitalize on its source material in an effective manner. “By the end of its lengthy run, ‘Eternals’ stumbles across the finish line with a dizzying mix of spaceships, superpowers, erupting volcanoes, and other spectacles,” wrote Looper critic Larry Caroll in a mixed review. 

Once reviews started pouring in, the conversation shifted to how the picture was Marvel’s first misfire, and how it failed at taking risks, which would have elevated the genre. For Nanjiani, it was the chatter around the film — not the film itself — that led him to develop negative feelings towards it. “I think there was some weird soup in the atmosphere for why that movie got slammed so much, and I think not much of it has to do with the actual quality of the movie,” he said. 

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